This 7 ingredient, classic Vegan Pesto sauce recipe is one that you'll want to make all year round. Use it to whip up quick and flavorful pasta dishes, sandwiches and more!
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Pesto has recently become my family's latest obsession!
It's a sauce that takes minutes to prepare, yet packs a massive flavor punch.
I've shared a couple unique pesto recipes on my blog in the past, like this Pumpkin Seed Pesto, but I knew I needed to share a classic vegan pesto sauce as well!
Pesto is so versatile.
You can use it as a pasta sauce for a quick and easy, weeknight dinner.
You can use it a spread for sandwiches.
It can even work as a dressing for bean or potato salads.
Plus, pesto freezes super well, so whenever I make it, I often make a double batch so I can freeze half for later.
Basically...pesto is amazing. 🙂
Let me share how to make it!
Vegan pesto sauce is a cinch to make and it only requires 7 ingredients, many of which I'm guessing you already have on hand!
I'll list out everything you need below.
- Olive Oil
- Nutritional yeast
- Lemon Juice
Usually, pesto contains parmesan cheese*, but we are using nutritional yeast instead to make this a vegan recipe and to create that cheesy flavor without the dairy.
*If you want to use parmesan cheese in this recipe, try out my vegan parmesan cheese!
How to make vegan pesto
Making pesto couldn't be easier. Simply follow the steps below and in no time you'll have a jar of flavorful, fresh, homemade vegan pesto sauce!
Step 1: Place one clove of garlic, a pinch of salt and the walnuts into a food processor. Process until a meal forms.
Step 2: Add in the basil and blend again until the basil is finely chopped and everything is well combined.
Step 3: Next, while your food processor is running, slowly stream in the olive oil.
Step 4: Lastly, add in the nutritional yeast and a squeeze of lemon and process one more time until everything is combined.
Step 5: Taste and add more salt for saltiness or lemon juice for tartness.
What to put pesto on
When it comes to pesto, most people think pasta, right?
But there are so many other ways to use pesto!
Pesto pasta is great, but why not try out these other ideas as fun ways to use that jar of homemade vegan pesto sauce you just made?
Here are 10 ideas for what you can pair with this yummy pesto!
- Use it as a spread for sandwiches and paninis
- Mix some with some white beans and tomato for a simple bean salad
- Use it as a sauce base for a great vegan pesto pizza
- Coat roasted veggies in it
- Stir it into mashed potatoes
- Mix it with butter to make pesto butter
- Use it as a veggie or cracker dip
- Add a spoonful to soup to add a burst of flavor
- Stir it into classic hummus to make pesto hummus
- Use it as a salad dressing
Once you start having pesto on hand, you'll realize there are numerous ways to include it in your meals throughout the day to add a burst of flavor!
Vegan pesto sauce stores beautifully so feel free to make a few batches at a time so you can always have some on hand!
- Refrigerator: Vegan pesto will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for 5-6 days.
- Freezer: Pesto will last in the freezer for around 6 months! To thaw it, simply place it in the fridge overnight the day before you want to use it. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays if you just need a little pesto at a time.
Classic Vegan Pesto Sauce Recipe
- 1 clove garlic
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- 2 cups packed basil leaves 3 oz
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Place one clove of garlic, a pinch of salt and the walnuts into a food processor. Process until a meal forms.
- Add in the basil and blend again until the basil is finely chopped and everything is well combined.
- Next, while your food processor is running, slowly stream in the olive oil.
- Lastly, add in the nutritional yeast and a squeeze of lemon and process one more time until everything is combined.
- Taste and add more salt for saltiness or lemon juice for tartness.
- Store this vegan pesto sauce in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 6 days or freeze it for up to 6 months.
The recipe sounds great but where is the nutritional yeast? Are you are using it rather than the vegan Parmesan called for in the recipe?
Faith VanderMolen says
Thanks for making me aware of that typo Mary! There is no vegan parmesan in this recipe. Just nutritional yeast! Hopefully now it makes sense and you can give this recipe a try. If for some reason you don't have nutritional yeast but have vegan parmesan, that should work too. Either would be fine!